Letters to the Editor

Reinstate Secondary School Certificate

Thursday, March 15, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Although we have the Caribbean Examinations Council, not enough emphasis is being placed on the Secondary School Certificate Examination. The Secondary School Certificate is regarded with little value in Jamaica, and would only be done if all else fails. This would imply that the SSC is below the standards of the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC). The Secondary School Certificate is phased out in Jamaica. Although Jamaica belongs to Caricom, and the CSEC is a regionally and worldwide recognised certification, it is my suggestion that the Ministry of Education should remodel the national curriculum to cater for Jamaican high school students and to reinstate the Secondary School Certificate and widen the scope of the subjects done in the SSC.

In India, they host their own national examinations for high school students. The same can be said about many other countries. While India is large, when compared to the smaller Jamaica in the Caribbean archipelago, we can further develop our own curriculum that rivals that of the Caribbean Examinations Council.

In regard to the subjects included in the SSC Examinations, it is quite limited in scope when compared with the subjects offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council. The SSC, remodelled and reinstated, will help to be an easy transition to do the CXC examination and will tweak the probability of higher passes in the regional examination. Although the CXC is a necessary requirement, more focus should be built on building a national high school curriculum instead of only teaching what is meted to us by the Caribbean Examinations Council. This would show flexibility, and the ability to adapt between methodologies. It would also be wise to be double certified to be safe.

Although the introduction of the TVET programme is quite commendable and ingenious, the SSC can still be a diagnostic tool to assess the effectiveness of the national curricula, and to rectify any weakness within secondary education in Jamaica and to help to diagnose educational problems in poor-performing schools. Both the TVET and the SSC can be integrated to maximise the probability of success. While one is not against the CSEC examination or the Caribbean Examinations Council, it would be illogical if we do not cater for ourselves and to further develop a national curriculum for our high school students to maximise their potential.

AG Lewis

Williamsfield, Manchester





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